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Rio 2016 Review: Who Was The Economical Winner

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Rio 2016 organizers dropped the curtain on the Summer Games on Sunday after hosting the world’s elite athletes who’ve competed for 306 medals over the past 19 days in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The United States was the biggest winner, arting away 121 medals, 46 of which were gold.

In second place was Great Britain, winning 67 medals in total. China trailed Great Britain in third place with medals, but less Gold.

An analysis of the Olympic medals standing will indicate that wealthier nations tend to perform better overall.

However, a look at the ratio of medals to gross domestic product, or even medals per capita, favours the less wealthy countries.

For instance, the United States with a GDP of about 17 trillion USD has a Medal per $100B GDP of 0.67, while Jamaica with a GDP of $24.6 billion USD has a Medal per $100B GDP of 44.62.

A table indicating the Medal per $100B GDP of all participating countries is shown below (Table credit: Bloomberg):

Country Total Population (millions) GDP-PPP ($billions) Medals per million pop. Medals per $100B GDP
United States 46 37 38 121 321.4 $17,950.0 0.38 0.67
Great Britain 27 23 17 67 64.1 $2,679.0 1.05 2.50
China 26 18 26 70 1,367.5 $19,390.0 0.05 0.36
Russia 19 18 19 56 142.4 $3,718.0 0.39 1.51
Germany 17 10 15 42 80.9 $3,841.0 0.52 1.09
Japan 12 8 21 41 126.9 $4,830.0 0.32 0.85
France 10 18 14 42 66.6 $2,647.0 0.63 1.59
South Korea 9 3 9 21 49.1 $1,849.0 0.43 1.14
Italy 8 12 8 28 61.9 $2,171.0 0.45 1.29
Australia 8 11 10 29 22.8 $1,489.0 1.27 1.95
Netherlands 8 7 4 19 16.9 $832.6 1.12 2.28
Hungary 8 3 4 15 9.9 $258.4 1.52 5.80
Brazil 7 6 6 19 204.3 $3,192.0 0.09 0.60
Spain 7 4 6 17 48.1 $1,615.0 0.35 1.05
Kenya 6 6 1 13 45.9 $141.9 0.28 9.16
Jamaica 6 3 2 11 3.0 $24.6 3.73 44.62
Croatia 5 3 2 10 4.5 $91.1 2.24 10.98
Cuba 5 2 4 11 11.0 $128.5 1.00 8.56
New Zealand 4 9 5 18 4.4 $168.2 4.06 10.70
Canada 4 3 15 22 35.1 $1,632.0 0.63 1.35
Uzbekistan 4 2 7 13 29.2 $187.9 0.45 6.92
Kazakhstan 3 5 9 17 18.2 $429.1 0.94 3.96
Colombia 3 2 3 8 46.7 $667.4 0.17 1.20
Switzerland 3 2 2 7 8.1 $482.3 0.86 1.45
Iran 3 1 4 8 81.8 $1,371.0 0.10 0.58
Greece 3 1 2 6 10.8 $286.0 0.56 2.10
Argentina 3 1 0 4 43.4 $972.0 0.09 0.41
Denmark 2 6 7 15 5.6 $258.7 2.69 5.80
Sweden 2 6 3 11 9.8 $473.4 1.12 2.32
South Africa 2 6 2 10 53.7 $723.5 0.19 1.38
Ukraine 2 5 4 11 44.4 $339.5 0.25 3.24
Serbia 2 4 2 8 7.2 $97.5 1.11 8.21
Poland 2 3 6 11 38.6 $1,005.0 0.29 1.09
North Korea 2 3 2 7 25.0 $40.0 0.28 17.50
Belgium 2 2 2 6 11.3 $494.1 0.53 1.21
Thailand 2 2 2 6 68.0 $1,108.0 0.09 0.54
Slovakia 2 2 0 4 5.4 $161.0 0.73 2.48
Georgia 2 1 4 7 4.9 $35.6 1.42 19.66
Azerbaijan 1 7 10 18 9.8 $169.4 1.84 10.63
Belarus 1 4 4 9 9.6 $167.7 0.94 5.37
Turkey 1 3 4 8 79.4 $1,589.0 0.10 0.50
Armenia 1 3 0 4 3.1 $25.3 1.31 15.80
Czech Republic 1 2 7 10 10.6 $332.5 0.94 3.01
Ethiopia 1 2 5 8 99.5 $161.6 0.08 4.95
Slovenia 1 2 1 4 2.0 $64.0 2.02 6.25
Indonesia 1 2 0 3 256.0 $2,842.0 0.01 0.11
Romania 1 1 3 5 21.7 $413.8 0.23 1.21
Bahrain 1 1 0 2 1.3 $64.8 1.49 3.09
Vietnam 1 1 0 2 94.3 $552.3 0.02 0.36
Chinese Taipei 1 0 2 3 23.4 $1,099.0 0.13 0.27
Bahamas 1 0 1 2 0.3 $9.2 6.16 21.82
Ivory Coast 1 0 1 2 23.3 $78.6 0.09 2.54
Independent 1 0 1 2
Fiji 1 0 0 1 0.9 $8.0 1.10 12.43
Jordan 1 0 0 1 8.1 $82.7 0.12 1.21
Kosovo 1 0 0 1 1.9 $17.4 0.53 5.75
Puerto Rico 1 0 0 1 3.6 $131.9 0.28 0.76
Singapore 1 0 0 1 5.7 $471.9 0.18 0.21
Tajikistan 1 0 0 1 8.2 $23.3 0.12 4.29
Malaysia 0 4 1 5 30.5 $815.6 0.16 0.61
Mexico 0 3 2 5 121.7 $2,227.0 0.04 0.22
Algeria 0 2 0 2 39.5 $578.7 0.05 0.35
Ireland 0 2 0 2 4.9 $257.4 0.41 0.78
Lithuania 0 1 3 4 2.9 $82.4 1.39 4.86
Bulgaria 0 1 2 3 7.2 $133.9 0.42 2.24
Venezuela 0 1 2 3 29.3 $515.7 0.10 0.58
India 0 1 1 2 1,251.7 $7,965.0 0.00 0.03
Mongolia 0 1 1 2 3.0 $36.1 0.67 5.54
Burundi 0 1 0 1 10.7 $7.7 0.09 12.97
Grenada 0 1 0 1 0.1 $1.4 9.03 71.38
Niger 0 1 0 1 18.0 $19.1 0.06 5.25
Philippines 0 1 0 1 101.0 $741.0 0.01 0.13
Qatar 0 1 0 1 2.2 $319.8 0.46 0.31
Norway 0 0 4 4 5.2 $356.2 0.77 1.12
Egypt 0 0 3 3 88.5 $1,048.0 0.03 0.29
Tunisia 0 0 3 3 11.0 $127.0 0.27 2.36
Israel 0 0 2 2 8.0 $281.9 0.25 0.71
Austria 0 0 1 1 8.7 $404.3 0.12 0.25
Dominican Rep. 0 0 1 1 10.5 $149.7 0.10 0.67
Estonia 0 0 1 1 1.3 $37.5 0.79 2.66
Finland 0 0 1 1 5.5 $225.0 0.18 0.44
Morocco 0 0 1 1 33.3 $273.5 0.03 0.37
Moldova 0 0 1 1 3.5 $17.8 0.28 5.62
Nigeria 0 0 1 1 181.6 $1,092.0 0.01 0.09
Portugal 0 0 1 1 10.8 $289.8 0.09 0.35
Trinidad & Tobago 0 0 1 1 1.2 $44.3 0.82 2.26
U.A.E. 0 0 1 1 5.8 $647.8 0.17 0.15

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Kelechi is a writer at The Herald. His many penchants include Poetry, Coding and Rock music. When he is not writing, Kelechi is probably binging on a TV show.

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